PBM offers a round-up of the industry reaction to the Government’s recent statement, which signaled the end of Green Deal.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB:
“The Government’s announcement that it will provide no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company and will also stop any future funding of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is the final nail in the Green Deal’s coffin. The Green Deal was the greatest flop of the last Parliament — it failed spectacularly in its mission to incentivise millions of house holders to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. However, the Government would have been wise to reform, rebrand and relaunch the Green Deal rather than scrap it altogether.
“What’s clear is that the need to improve the energy efficiency of our properties is an increasingly pressing priority but the Government is showing very little leadership or ambition. The goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years is a meagre target when you consider that around five million homes were provided with energy efficiency improvements through various schemes over the past five years. Although the Green Deal was disappointing in terms of what it achieved, it demonstrated that Government was serious about reducing the carbon emissions from our homes. As we get closer to the 2050 carbon reduction target, the Government should be increasing investment in this area but instead, Ministers have side lined energy efficiency, filing it under “too difficult and too expensive.
“The Government and industry should not be defeated by the poor results driven through the Green Deal and instead we must learn the lessons and move forward. Investing in our existing homes is the best way to drive up jobs and growth while driving down fuel poverty and carbon emissions. There are lots of measures and incentives which could kick start activity in this area — the Government should provide home owners with zero interest loans to make their properties energy efficient. This move could generate more tax revenue for the Treasury than it costs to subsidise, an approach which has worked well in Germany so why not the UK?”
Martyn Reed, Operations Director, Elmhurst Energy:
“It is very disappointing news for Elmhurst Energy and many of its members who have trained and invested time and resources in promoting an initiative which had the best of intentions.
“The announcement was particularly disappointing because it arrived with no consultation with the stakeholders nor a clear plan to ensure the supply chain can remain intact until the next initiative is launched. Elmhurst Energy will be writing to Government with its opinions and offering assistance to the team who are charged with reviewing activity and recommending a future strategy.”
Kevin Wellman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE):
“We always felt that Green Deal was flawed and clearly put home owners who took up the loan at a disadvantage, especially when they wanted to sell their home. The loan is attached to the property and added to the electricity bill, so if it was assessed for the needs of a large family wanting lots of hot water etc., the same rule may not apply to the new occupiers who bought it. They could be paying much higher bills in the long run.
“I do support all appropriate measures to reduce our carbon footprint and when the government is ready to start planning a new or alternative scheme, I urge officials to talk to the CIPHE. The Institute has many members (micro SMEs) who are qualified and competent to install renewable technologies. I have no doubt that as the Chartered body for the plumbing and heating industry, we can put in place a scheme that is cost effective, achievable and most importantly works in the public interest.”
Stewart Clements, Director, Heating and Hotwater Industry Council:
“The ending of Green Deal comes as no surprise. This policy failed to engage with both installers and consumers and delivered little in terms of energy efficiency – its demise therefore is expected and understandable.
“I am concerned that little thought appears to have been given to a replacement, there are still over 12 million inefficient boilers fitted in UK homes, with almost 80% of homes not having even the most basic controls. Our aging housing stock remains one of the worst in Europe and if we are to support ‘hard working families’, whilst achieving our carbon emission targets, then a new mechanism needs to be developed.
We will look to engage with DECC in the coming weeks on the development of a new scheme – one that is more inclusive and engages the whole supply chain.”
Dani Putney, Renewable Sector Specialist, NICEIC and ELECSA:
“In theory it should have worked. In reality though the scheme was over engineered, difficult to market and a nightmare to access. It was supposed to be the biggest home improvement scheme since the end of World War II. We invested a lot of time, money and resources to make the scheme work and so did our customers.
“Now it looks like it will be binned after just a few years. We can’t let the knowledge, skills and know-how that has built up over the last few years go to waste. We would urge the government to learn from this and consult with those who worked hard to try and make Green Deal work before it comes up with any new policy.
“The decision to scrap Green Deal funding comes less than two weeks after the government also abandoned its zero-carbon homes policy and just a day after it emerged it was consulting on plans to axe small-scale solar farm subsidies. There is no doubt that all these measures will have a drastic effect on the renewable sector”.
Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy (Real Estate), BPF:
“It won’t come as a surprise to many to see that the Government has decided to end its financing of the Green Deal Finance Company. Many will use this as an opportunity to bemoan the scheme and its failings, but of greater importance is where we go from here. The end of the Green Deal will impact on many other policy areas including the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) passed by the previous Government, which was designed to dovetail with a pay as you save energy efficiency scheme.
“We are concerned that without a functioning pay as you save scheme, the premise set out in the regulations that meeting energy efficiency targets should come at no upfront cost to the property owner is now in jeopardy.
“The end of the Green Deal should not be associated with an end to the Government’s support for helping people to achieve warmer homes that are cheaper to heat and better for the environment and we look forward to working with officials on its replacement, but engagement needs to proceed quickly in order that we do not lose momentum or capacity in the market.”